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Hello World

This is the latest iteration of my personal site. I figured I’d make a hello world post about why and how I made it.

Why does exist?

At this point, I’m not exactly sure why this site exists beyond asserting that Zach Trayner exists to the interwebs. As a web developer, it is almost a requirement to have a site, but nobody really knows tells you what content should be put in it. It turns out that writing content and being a developer are 2 completely different skills that use different parts of your brain.

One day, I hope I can leverage this site to offer some of the skills I’ve developed over the years. If you have software that runs on the web, I can help you. Over the past 5+ years, I have primarily done front-end web development. I’ve gone from jQuery to Angularjs to Drupal to Gatsby.js. The web has improved vastly from when I started web development and I am much happier and productive because of it.

I also have an active and entrepreneurial mind. This most recently has led me to dabble in private label selling on Amazon where I sell amazing travel backpacks and to register for an Amazon Merch account where I’ve made some interesting shirts. Maybe in the future I will write about some of those adventures.

How was this site built?

I built this site using Gatsby.js. I leveraged the Lumen Gatsby starter, which was a fantastic launch point. Maybe one day I’ll have time to custom build my personal site, but I’d rather get this site up and start building some content sooner than later when my mind gets distracted by other things I could do.

The backend of the site uses Netlify CMS. The ease of use and setup is unreal. One thing that still frustrates me as a developer is how not automated it is to setup authentication. Setting up Netlify CMS was a breeze and got me editing my content right away.

Hosting the site on Netlify was a no-brainer. When you combine Netlify’s hosting and deployment mechanism with Gatsby.js, everything is so easy and fast. Both for me as a developer as well as for users that may visit the site. Web development is about getting the little things right. With this setup, it is hard to do things wrong.


That’s the short summary. Hit me up on social media or through my contact page if you have any questions or would like to work together!